Pope Leo VII
Reigned 936-39, Roman and priest of St. Sixtus, and probably a Benedictine monk
Leo VII, POPE, date of birth unknown; d. July 13, 939. A Roman and priest of St. Sixtus, and probably a Benedictine monk, he was elected pope January 3, 936. He seems to have been placed upon the Chair of Peter by the power of Alberic, prince and senator of the Romans. Alberic’s authority in Rome was disputed by Hugo, who bore the title of King of Italy (Langobardia). The city was being besieged by Hugo when the famous Ode, Abbot of Cluny, reached it. He had been summoned by Leo, who knew his great influence with both Alberic and Hugo, to make peace between them. Odo accomplished the desires of the pope, and a marriage between Alberic and Hugo’s daughter Aida effected at least a temporary understanding between the belligerents. The Bulls of Leo consist for the most part of grants of privilege to various monasteries, especially to Cluny. One, however, is a letter to Frederick, Archbishop of Mainz. With a view to cooperating in the work of reform which was being accomplished in Germany by Henry I (the Fowler) and his son Otho I, Leo named Frederick his vicar throughout all Germany, with power to proceed against all erring clerics. He would not, however, allow the archbishop to baptize the Jews by force, though he did authorize their expulsion from the cities on their refusal to embrace Christianity.
HORACE K. MANN